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Mentors for the Next Generation: Women in Rural Nepal

When Sajita and Asmita first met, they had no idea they’d been living parallel lives.

Both shaped by the work of TEAR’s Christian partner Share and Care in Nepal, they shared a mutual passion for change in their communities. Sajita took on the role of mentor for Asmita, nurturing her through adolescence to become a local primary teacher. As Sajita’s mother had encouraged her daughter to pursue leadership, so Sajita encouraged Asmita to do the same.

Organisations like Share and Care facilitate these relationships by placing experienced and trained Social Mobilisers, like Sajita, where they are most needed.

World Teachers Day 2018 Asmita
Asmita is a teacher in her local primary school.

Asmita

About five years ago, we met in a women’s group (Sajita was the staff member who formed the group). Our group had received much help from Share and Care. I did a three day Participatory Research Action training with them as a volunteer. And about a year after we formed a group, I was elected the secretary of that group. The sisters (group members) nominated me for a scholarship so I could finish school. I was studying in Ninth (class) at the time. I have just finished Twelfth (class).

After the earthquake, we received many relief items from Share and Care. Just three days after the ‘quake, through the group, we received things like beaten rice, blankets, tents, and later, zinc sheets.

From the experience after the earthquake I got the opportunity to learn different things. I have developed self-confidence and now I can make conversation with people around me from that experience. I got the opportunity to work as a teacher in the school and I am very happy. In this profession I can stay at my home and can look after my home and can teach something to the kids and learn things from them too. I enjoy teaching. Through me the small kids can learn, and I can make their future bright.

We here have an illiterate community, so education is most important. Children are our future and they are like a small plant. We are the ones to water and nurture those plants.

Now I have finished high school, I want to do a Bachelor’s degree and teach and study side by side. I hope that after my Bachelor, my self-esteem will be high and I will be experienced.

Sajita Share and Care Nepal M1 00177
Sajita is a Community Organiser with Share and Care in Nepal.

Sajita

I am from Sindhulpalchowk (Share and Care ran a project there until 2011, when the Nuwakot project began). When Share and Care was working there, and I was in ninth (class), a girls’ youth committee was formed. I was its chairperson. Our community saw different developments, and we saw that we young girls can help, how through our participation we could get community works done. We did community cleaning, road cleaning, water, and rallies. My mother was involved too. Seeing the good my mum was doing excited me for the community service sector.

When I was in tenth (class) Share and Care’s term was coming to an end. I wanted to work in this field and they suggested I go to Kathmandu to do their training. It took fifteen months and then I did on-the-job training. Now I am a Social Mobilisers on staff. I’ve worked in different villages getting experience.

I am proud of what we could do for people in immediate need. Then, it was hard to convince women to come to meetings. We had to go to individual houses to bring them to the group. Now they meet without our help. The other big change is that groups are linked to cooperatives, and they have been able to build a community building. Women gave their labour and people from every group gave money, sand and pebbles. Those women then unanimously won the local election. I think that will bring new positive changes.

As staff, we live together as family where we are working. We learn from our elders (at Share and Care) about how to serve. I have three main goals:

  1. Love, towards the needy people like my own.
  2. Honesty, our doing and our words should be the same.
  3. Dedication, working with values and beliefs.

I plan to continue my studies, and continue to work too. I have dreams. If I develop experience, I can run a project on my own and serve the people in need.

Share and Care’s work in Nuwakot has recently drawn to a close, enabling them to begin work in a new project area.

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Related projects have received support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).